Subdomains of Gender-Related Occupational Interests: Do They Form a Cohesive Bipolar M-F Dimension?



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Errata Volume 74, Issue 3, 933, Article first published online: 21 March 2006

concerning this article should be addressed to Richard Lippa, Department of Psychology, California State University at Fullerton, Fullerton, CA 92834. E-mail:


Abstract In four studies, with a total of 1780 male and 2969 female participants, subdomains of masculine and feminine occupations were identified from sets of occupational preference items. Identified masculine subdomains included “blue-collar realistic” (e.g., carpenter), “educated realistic” (electrical engineer), and “flashy, risk-taking” (jet pilot). Feminine subdomains included “fashion-related” (fashion model), “artistic” (author), “helping” (social worker), and “children-related” (manager of childcare center). In all studies, principal components analyses of subdomain preference scales showed that masculine subdomains were bipolar opposites of feminine subdomains. This bipolar structure emerged in analyses conducted on combined-sex groups, high-school boys, high-school girls, men, women, heterosexual men, gay men, heterosexual women, and lesbian women. The results suggest that, although there are distinct masculine and feminine occupational subdomains, gender-related occupational preferences, nonetheless, form a replicable, cohesive, bipolar individual difference dimension, which is not an artifact of studying mixed-sex or mixed-sexual-orientation groups.